Bad News for Rafale: UAE stings Dassault’s 'uncompetitive and unworkable' Bid

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by asianobserve, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    May 5, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Aviation and Aerospace News |
    Stephen Trimble
    17 Nov 2011

    A top United Arab Emirates military and political leader closed the Dubai air show by unleashing a rare, rhetorical attack on Dassault for submitting "unworkable" terms in an attempt to close a long-awaited deal for up to 60 Rafale fighters.

    After touring the air show grounds on 16 November, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, released a statement to the official Emirates news agency praising French diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Rafale bid, but also slamming Dassault's negotiators.

    "Regrettably, Dassault seems unaware that all the diplomatic and political will in the world cannot overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms," said Mohammed, deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

    His statement appears to support a claim by Eurofighter and the UK Ministry of Defence that the UAE is seriously considering an alternative proposal for the Typhoon.

    Eurofighter revealed on 12 November that the UAE had issued a request for proposal for the Typhoon to the UK government, the official representative of the four-member consortium to Abu Dhabi.

    Also during the show, Boeing named the UAE as one of 10 potential buyers for either the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or F-15E Strike Eagle, and revealed that the UAE government had requested classified briefings.

    All of this appeared to have come as a surprise to Dassault. Only a month ago, the French manufacturer publicly touted the imminent possibility of closing the UAE deal and securing the first Rafale export bid.

    Dassault has come close to winning Rafale contracts before in the Netherlands, South Korea, Singapore and Morocco, but in each case was rejected in favour of US-built offerings from Boeing or Lockheed Martin.

    Mohammed's criticism also comes at an especially sensitive period for Dassault. The Indian Ministry of Defence is also negotiating final terms between Dassault and Eurofighter for a 126-aircraft order.

    Dassault was not immediately available to comment.
  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Now the French have actually been peddling the opposite in comparison with the Typhoon. So wonder what has happened in UAE. Our friend Armand too has been pushing this line. Bad timing this as just yesterday the Air Chief said they will be done with their calculation in four weeks.
  4. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    May 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Holy Hell
    That's because the UAE bid wasn't tendered. The French aren't Russians.

    The Russians are actually cheaper than anybody else we buy from. Even the Israelis are expensive.
  5. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

    May 5, 2011
    Likes Received:
    If the recent IAF Mirage modernization is to go by with Dassault then the UAE observations may have some support to stand on.
  6. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Actually It's good for India that both U.A.E. and KSA will operate typhoon. I always preferred typhoon over Rafale but now i have mixed feeling. It doesn't make major difference between which one we select. As of now, Typhoon has advantage as it's 2nd best fighter jet after F-22 but if we buy Rafale then also it will be advantage. I was actually worried at the thought that PAF would have access to UAE's fighters if the same were chosen by India, giving them valuable insight into the platform's strenghts and weaknesses.
  7. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Derailed Denouement in Dubai: What’s Up With the UAE’s Fighter Deal?

    Nov 17, 2011 21:57 EST
    With the 2011 Dubai Airshow in full swing, the biggest question on site is: what’s happening to the UAE’s planned fighter deal? The United Arab Emirates’ interest in up to 60 Dassault Rafale fighters has seen years of negotiations, and the 2011 show was expected to be the clincher.

    Instead, it has opened the door to Eurofighter GmbH, even as Boeing admits to giving classified technical briefings centered on its F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15 Strike Eagle families. Unlike Eurofighter, Boeing hasn’t received an RFP, but other reports suggest that the UAE may be about to reduce its planned new jet order and buy more of its unique Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Block 60s, regardless of what happens next. The bombshell hit at Dubai’s 2011 air show…

    As word leaked out that Eurofighter GmbH was working on a response to a formal RFP from the UAE, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and UAE Deputy Supreme Commander Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was quoted by the UAE’s official news agency as saying that:

    “Bilateral relations have never been stronger and [President Sarkozy’s] constant personal intervention in this process has sustained Dassault at the forefront of our considerations. Regrettably Dassault seems unaware that all the diplomatic and political will in the world cannot overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms.”

    The UAE is known in the global arms trade for rigorous tests and hard bargains. This is either the mother of all hardball negotiations, or the potential Rafale sale is crashing.

    In support of the latter interpretation, an anonymous UAE government source is quoted using even harsher words than the crown prince. He describes the frustration with Dassault as “shared” between the UAE and France, adding that the firm is leaning on the French relationship to “hold out on pricing and a deal structure that hasn’t changed in more than a year and that has been significantly bettered by all competitors.”

    On the other hand, it’s difficult to see which competitors our source could mean, if Dassault is the only one to respond to the RFP so far. It’s possible that other vendors have offered rough pricing ranges, but it’s also possible that the UAE is very aware that
    (a) the Rafale badly needs a 1st export client; and
    (b) any serious backlash in the UAE could also affect a larger potential sale in India. Neither creates incentives for compromise.

    In the Rafale’s favor, reports insist that the French are still pushing hard for a deal. French air force commander Jean-Paul Palomeros has told AIN that negotiations are now about the cost of maintenance and manpower, rather than major technical upgrades. The UAE had been pushing for a range of enhancements, from an AESA radar, to further defensive system improvements, to upgraded Snecma M88 engines. The RBE2-AA AESA radar is now being fielded, and the plane’s defensive systems proved themselves over Libya. The engines are reportedly no longer an issue, either, after the Rafale demonstrated that it could take off from Al Dhafra airbase on a hot day, carrying a very full combat load of 2 MBDA Scalp cruise missiles and 3 fuel tanks.

    Even if Rafale wins, however, some sources suggest that it may be a smaller deal. Flight International’s The DEW Line:
    “Riad Kahwaji, chief executive officer of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA).... who is well connected in Abu Dhabi… [says the potential Rafale deal] has been reduced from 60 fighters, with the balance shifted to a follow-on order of some number of F-16 Block 60s. Northrop Grumman, which supplies the APG-80 agile beam radar for the Block 60, confirmed this strategy today. Northrop told [Flight International’s] Greg Waldron that the UAE is considering a follow-on order for the Block 60.”

    Of course, Eurofighter has yet to submit a formal bid, and the UAE seems to have its options wide open if it wants to invite vendors like Boeing to the RFP. If they get their price, a full-size order is always possible. The biggest missing piece in all of this is Lockheed Martin’s F-35, which seems most noticeable by its absence from Dubai Air Show 2011 discussions. Time will tell.

    Derailed Denouement Dubai: What’s Up With UAE’s Fighter Deal?
    ejazr likes this.
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    If this is the case in the Indian bids as well, then does that mean the Eurofighter would win the Indian bid as well because it would be cheaper than the Rafale over its lifecycle?

    You are overestimating UAE-Pakistan security co-operation by assuming that Pakistan would be allowed to closely monitor and review UAE fighter jets. Particularly given the cold ties post 2006 between the two.
    MPs told Russia, India and UAE involved in Baloch insurgency – The Express Tribune
    UAE was upset over leak about Balochistan airstrip | Pakistan-Papers | DAWN.COM
    The Baluchistan airstrip facility was withdrawn from the UAE soon after this news was leaked.
    thakur_ritesh and Zebra like this.

Share This Page